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Old 09-08-2021, 11:50 PM
bombaysaffires bombaysaffires is offline
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Default Lindsey interview;Stevie and Azoff finally speak

Amazing article in the LA Times... Lindsey really gets his digs in (Mick is financially unstable, lots of divorces; Chris threw him under the bus because she bought a house; Stevie is lonely and alone and sad) and Stevie and Azoff finally comment... Azoff really smacks Lindsey down saying everything that happened was his own fault and that he is delighted that the band did their highest grossing tour without Lindsey, and says he only continued working with the band at all because he has been 'aligned with Stevie in thought and purpose from the earliest days". Stevie denies having anything whatsoever to do with firing him..his version of events is "revisionist history", she "fired herself" from a "toxic" situation. Being around Lindsey made her feel like a "dying flower". He says she made life choices and is now all alone. He's attempted to text Stevie but she "usually" doesn't respond. His relationship with Mick is mostly via text. His wife lives down the road for now.

Buckle up this is a GREAT article!

Fleetwood Mac fired Lindsey Buckingham. So why won't he let them go?

Amy Kaufman
Wed, September 8, 2021, 9:00 PM14 min read
LA Times


Los Angeles, CA - August 07: Singer, songwriter and guitarist, Lindsey Bunckingham, known for his partnership with Stevie NIcks and the band Fleetwood Mac, is photographed in his home in the Brentwood neighborhood, of Los Angeles, CA, Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021. Buckingham, who was fired from Fleetwood Mac in 2018, will be coming out with his seventh studio album. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)


Lindsey Buckingham: "Between the Fleetwood Mac stuff and the heart attack, it's all been humbling." (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

This is the album that started all the trouble.

"Lindsey Buckingham," the singer-guitarist's seventh solo venture, was finished nearly four years ago. Upon completing the 10-song collection, he asked his bandmates in Fleetwood Mac if they’d be willing to slightly delay an upcoming tour so he could promote his new music. He’d made a similar request back in 2006 and was granted two years to tour behind back-to-back solo efforts. For his new album, he only wanted three months.

But Fleetwood Mac’s 2018 tour dates had already been sketched out. Still, Buckingham says, the majority of the group — drummer Mick Fleetwood, keyboardist-vocalist Christine McVie and bassist John McVie — seemed flexible. Stevie Nicks, the band’s primary lead singer and singular superstar, however, would not budge.

The tension between Buckingham and Nicks, who were an infamously volatile couple during Fleetwood Mac's 1970s peak, only grew from there. In January 2018, when the group walked onstage to receive their MusiCares Person of the Year award, “Rhiannon” — a song written by Nicks — was playing, which Buckingham complained about. Then Nicks, who accepted the prize on behalf of the band, felt that Buckingham was mocking her for her lengthy speech.

"Ironically," Buckingham says, "nothing went down that night that was [as contentious] as the stuff we'd been through for 43 years." But within a week, he was fired from Fleetwood Mac.


Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks, from left, John McVie, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood take a bow at MusiCares Person of the Year gala at New York's Radio City Music Hall, Jan. 26, 2018. (Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images)


It was a seismic shift in Buckingham’s life — one he is still struggling to accept today, at age 71. As it would turn out, it was only the first in a series of upheavals. Following his departure, Buckingham sued Fleetwood Mac for lost wages, including the $12 million to $14 million he claimed he would have made in just two months on that 2018 tour.

After the lawsuit was settled in December of that year, he planned to turn his attention back to releasing his solo music. But a couple of months later, in February 2019, he suffered a heart attack and had to undergo triple bypass surgery. During the process, the insertion of a breathing tube damaged his vocal cords, leaving him questioning whether he’d ever be able to sing again.

He spent much of the COVID-19 pandemic focusing on his recovery. Then in June, his wife of 21 years filed for divorce.

“I’ll tell you what: Between the Fleetwood Mac stuff and the heart attack, it’s all been humbling,” Buckingham says now. “I’ve never suffered from a lack of confidence, and sometimes could get carried away with that in the process of leading the band. But everything has pulled me in a little bit. I’m not as aggressive a person as I was before, which is probably not a bad thing. It made me look around more — and become less self-involved, hopefully.”

And yet despite this assertion, Buckingham is quick to make incendiary comments about his former bandmates and associates. Sitting in the living room of his Brentwood home, he is uninhibited in conversation — his honesty about his circumstances at turns refreshing and disconcerting. While he’d like to be asked back to the band, he’s well aware that it's probably a pipe dream unless Nicks comes around. "I realize I don’t have a lot of control over that — any control over that."

And then there’s his new music, which is finally coming out on Sept. 17, led by the single "Scream." He’s proud of the self-titled album, even though he knows that perhaps “one in 10 who pay attention to Fleetwood Mac will pay attention” to it. But part of the reason he’s so open about his tumultuous past few years, he says, is because he knows that drama helps fans invest in his music.

“That was part of the appeal of ‘Rumours,’” he says, referring to the 1977 Fleetwood Mac album that was created while the band members were in the midst of affairs, addictions and breakups. “I think there’s a little element of that out there right now. It’s sort of humanizing. The fact that I got [this album] out at all finally is sort of a nice thing for people to think, ‘Oh, cool, he’s still doing it.’"


Buckingham has spent the last month rehearsing for a 30-date U.S. tour, which kicked off Tuesday and will stop at downtown’s Theatre at Ace Hotel in December. On this day in August, he says he hasn't played enough guitar yet for his finger calluses to return, though he still has three weeks left of prep time at a warehouse space in Burbank. At night, he returns to the Brentwood mansion that his wife, interior designer Kristen Buckingham, served as the architect on.

She isn’t staying here at the moment — she’s a mile away in a rented home in Mandeville Canyon. Their three children have mostly been crashing here during the pandemic:
His 22-year-old son, William Gregory, is in the midst of an online internship at the Wasserman Agency, his 21-year-old daughter, Leelee, and her boyfriend have no air conditioning at their Westwood apartment; and his youngest, 17-year-old Stella, is still in high school.

The COVID-19 shutdown exacerbated Buckingham’s marital issues, he says, and at first his wife told him she just needed a “spatial break.” He was surprised when she filed divorce papers and is still hopeful that they’ll be able to work things out.

Which is, deep down, the same way he feels about Fleetwood Mac.


When Nicks gave the band an ultimatum — it’s either him or me is the way Buckingham says it went down — he was disappointed that no one stood up for him.

“It would be like a scenario where Mick Jagger says, ‘Either Keith [Richards] goes or I go,’” he says. “No, neither one of you can go. But I guess the singer has to stay. The figurehead has to stay.”

Nicks is, undeniably, the star attraction in Fleetwood Mac — and her draw has only increased in recent years as she's cemented herself further in the pop culture firmament. Her witchy style has become a fashion reference for Free People-loving millennials, she occasionally drops in on Harry Styles tours to duet on "Landslide" and, before the Delta variant hit, she was set to headline major festivals like BottleRock Napa Valley and Austin City Limits.

While Fleetwood Mac fans were certainly dismayed when Buckingham was axed — he was replaced for the 2018/2019 tour by Crowded House’s Neil Finn and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers — they still showed up in record numbers to fill arenas and sing along to the band's classic songbook, including the Buckingham-penned "Go Your Own Way," "Second Hand News" and "Monday Morning."

Fleetwood Mac hold an award in 1978.
Fleetwood Mac in 1978, from left: Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie and Lindsey Buckingham. (Michael Ochs Archives)


Of course, this isn't the first time the band has gone through personnel changes. In 1987, Buckingham left Fleetwood Mac of his own accord for a decade; Christine McVie was gone from 1998 to 2014; Nicks was largely absent in the early '90s. And plenty of Baby Boomer favorites have proved popular without their iconic members: The Eagles minus Glenn Frey, Journey absent Steve Perry, and, coming soon, the Rolling Stones without their late drummer, Charlie Watts.

Buckingham says that when the band and their manager, music mogul Irving Azoff, dismissed him, they were less concerned with Fleetwood Mac's legacy, or with its fans, than they were with appeasing Nicks and continuing to cash the million-dollar-plus paychecks from a single arena or stadium gig.

Mick Fleetwood has "never quite gotten to the point where he's financially stable all the time," Buckingham says of the band's namesake. "He’s been married and divorced many times. He's just not smart with his money.”

The same theory applies to Christine McVie, whom Buckingham says sent him an email after his firing that read: “I’m really sorry that I didn’t stand up for you, but I just bought a house.” (Both she and Fleetwood declined to comment for this article.)

In negotiations with the group, Buckingham posits, Azoff "threw me under the bus."

“Irving doesn’t need the money, but he’s still driven by the money," says the guitarist, who also used to be managed by Azoff as a solo act.

“I have historically declined comment on artists, but in the case of Lindsey Buckingham, I will make an exception," Azoff says in a statement to The Times. "While I understand it’s challenging for Lindsey to accept his own role in these matters and far easier to blame a manager, the fact remains that his actions alone are responsible for what transpired.

"Frankly," Azoff continues, "if I can be accused of anything it’s perhaps holding things together longer than I should have. After 2018 when Fleetwood Mac evolved with their new lineup, my continued work with the band was due entirely to the fact I’ve been aligned with Stevie Nicks in thought and purpose from the earliest of days.

"While financial gain was not a motivator for me," Azoff adds in reply to Buckingham's comment, "it was a delightful bonus that the band scored their highest grossing tour ever without Lindsey."


A man rocks out on a guitar onstage
"People don't talk about my involvement in Fleetwood Mac in the past tense," says Lindsey Buckingham. "It may be chronologically in the past, but it's living now." (Steven Ferdman / Getty Images)


Buckingham's issues with Nicks, meanwhile, center on far more than a paycheck. At the root of it all, he says, is the fact that he and his onetime lover, who joined the band as a couple in 1975, never got closure when their relationship came to its rocky conclusion. (Nicks had a short-lived affair with Fleetwood in 1977.) Because they had to focus on “Rumours,” the exes compartmentalized their emotions and never took the necessary physical space to get over one another.

So when his mind returns to his exit from the band, he comes to the same conclusion: Nicks wanted to “cut herself loose” from having to compete with him onstage after so many years. “I think she saw the possibility of remaking the band more in the Stevie Nicks vein,” he continues. “More mellow and kind of down, giving her more chances to do the kind of talking she does onstage.”


Nicks tells a different story. Through her publicist, she describes Buckingham's recollection of the 2018 events as "revisionist history."

"His version of events is factually inaccurate and while I’ve never spoken publicly on the matter, certainly it feels the time has come to shine a light on the truth," Nicks says. "To be exceedingly clear, I did not have him fired, I did not ask for him to be fired, I did not demand he be fired. Frankly, I fired myself. I proactively removed myself from the band and a situation I considered to be toxic to my wellbeing. I was done. If the band went on without me, so be it.

"And after many lengthy group discussions, Fleetwood Mac, a band whose legacy is rooted in evolution and change, found a new path forward with two hugely talented new members."

Indeed, Nicks has been reluctant to speak about the 2018 split. In an interview with The Times last year, she would only say that it was "a long time coming" and that being around Buckingham made her feel sad — "like a dying flower all the time.”

“That wasn’t caused by me,” Buckingham says, defending himself. “You could do a whole analysis on Stevie at this point in her life and what she’s allowed to happen and what she’s allowed to slip away from her. Her creativity, at least for a while it seemed like she wasn’t in touch with that. Same with the level of energy she once had onstage. I think that was hard for her, seeing me jump around in an age-inappropriate way. Also, she’s lonely. She’s alone. She has the people who work for her, and I'm sure she has friends, but you know.”

When Buckingham is reminded that Nicks has repeatedly asserted she chose to focus on her career over marriage or children, he does not back down. “Well, maybe she never did [want that], but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t make her feel alone as a result."

Told of Buckingham's comments, Nicks now reiterates that though she was "thrilled for Lindsey when he had children," she "wasn't interested in making those same life choices."

"Those are my decisions that I get to make for myself. I’m proud of the life choices I’ve made and it seems a shame for him to pass judgment on anyone who makes a choice to live their life on their own terms."


A woman, left, in a flowy red dress holding a microphone and a man playing a guitar onstage
Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. (Richard E. Aaron / Redferns)


Buckingham hasn’t seen any of the new group’s shows but hears they’re “on the edge of being a cover band” because they’re playing “a range of material lacking a center.” But even when he was in Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham wasn’t always on board with their creative direction.

Following the dazzling success of “Rumours,” Buckingham steered the band in a starkly different sonic direction on 1979’s double album “Tusk.” While "Tusk" is now revered, at the time is was viewed as too esoteric, only selling about a fourth of the albums that “Rumours” did.

“Mick came to me a year later, in the wake of it not being nearly as mega as ‘Rumours,’ and said, ‘Well, we’re not gonna do that again,’” Buckingham recalls. “So maybe I did feel like I had something to prove at that point. I knew I couldn’t give up that part of my palette. The audience that has the ears for your music, they’re gonna find it.”

Cameron Crowe, who began interviewing Buckingham in the '70s for Rolling Stone and since cast him on his Showtime series “Roadies,” is one of those fans.

“Lindsey has been vindicated over time for all the angst that went into ‘Tusk,’” says the filmmaker. “He created something that stands the test of time. When Fleetwood Mac fans talk about their favorite stuff, they almost always go to 'Tusk.'"

Buckingham can still quote a review of his 2006 album “Under the Skin” that described him as a “visionary” — although “nobody knew it.”

“Maybe that’s been a bit of a problem — feeling unseen,” he admits. His highest-charting solo single to date was 1981's "Trouble," which reached No. 9 on Billboard's Hot 100, and he's scored modest solo hits with "Holiday Road" (best known as the theme from "National Lampoon's Vacation") and "Go Insane."

Buckingham plays all the instruments on his new album, which he crafted in a studio at his last Brentwood home — he's since downsized to his current house, further down the same avenue — on a 48-track reel-to-reel, using a razor blade to cut two-track tape.

He’s written two new songs since his heart attack. He says his voice has mostly returned to normal, though he’s had to lower the key of a few songs he’ll be performing on his upcoming tour. Sometimes he gets lightheaded when he stands up too quickly, “but it’s nothing that isn’t manageable.”

He did hear from Nicks after his bypass, and he’s emailed and texted her a few times since, though he says she doesn’t usually respond.

“She’s very guarded and protective of her own world, and I think she sees me as a potential upsetter of that,” he says.

His relationship with Mick Fleetwood is better, though it mostly exists via text message. “He’s talked about getting us back together. But that’s him, and he probably didn’t want to see me go in the first place. I know he didn’t. But there’s a difference between him saying that and Stevie saying that.”

So no, he says, he isn’t hanging his hat on a reunion. Anyway, the fans who still approach him on the street? To them, he’s still a part of Fleetwood Mac, there every time someone plays the band's deathless recordings.

“People don’t talk about my involvement in Fleetwood Mac in the past tense. It may be chronologically in the past, but it’s living now,” he says. “Fleetwood Mac was the big machine. I can still get on with the small machine.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.
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Old 09-08-2021, 11:57 PM
michelej1 michelej1 is online now
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He says that her creativity was gone “at least for a while”. Does this mean he thinks it came back?

But what he said is spot on. I don’t think she was mad so much about the ISA standing ovation as she was about the fact that he could run around the stage for two hours tirelessly and she couldn’t. She used to have all the energy in the world. Some of that was cocaine and some of it was youth. Now she has creaky joints and that hurts her when she looks at him. And yes she is lonely. That doesn’t mean she wishes she had a passel of kids. But I think she wants something more than she has, even if it’s just very close girlfriends that are not on her payroll.

One of her problems is, I think she’s silly and that’s outgrown its usefulness. I mean, she does not have peers that want to put up with that. I believe others have grown up and she hasn’t. You know, not only can she not sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk about life and the changes in the industry with Nancy Wilson, she can’t even have a heart to talk with Christine McVie, even though they shared a great part of their lives together. She’s an airhead and that was very adorable for a long time, but it’s not any more.

Last edited by michelej1; 09-09-2021 at 12:06 AM..
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Old 09-09-2021, 12:10 AM
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I just bought a house. I am putting that on the headstone.
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Old 09-09-2021, 12:10 AM
bombaysaffires bombaysaffires is offline
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He says that her creativity was gone at least for a while. Does this mean he thinks it came back?
she put it all into her monologues between songs
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Old 09-09-2021, 12:19 AM
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Stevie Nicks is a damned LIAR. She's absolutely delusional. A miserable POS.
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Old 09-09-2021, 12:22 AM
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I just bought a house. I am putting that on the headstone.
And WHO wants to hear her blathering on and on between songs? My god!

Only herself.

I'd dance and smirk!
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Old 09-09-2021, 12:30 AM
bombaysaffires bombaysaffires is offline
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Her saying she didn't fire him, she fired herself, and if they wanted to go on without her so be it totally confirms the "it's me or him" story. Hilarious that she thinks she's denying it but is totally validating it.
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Old 09-09-2021, 12:37 AM
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Her saying she didn't fire him, she fired herself, and if they wanted to go on without her so be it totally confirms the "it's me or him" story. Hilarious that she thinks she's denying it but is totally validating it.
It is hilarious that she thinks she can put her little spin on the truth, and that we'll all "just see it her way".
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Old 09-09-2021, 12:45 AM
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Never for a moment do I think that Lindsey did not contribute to the problems with Stevie, but I think no one had the right to kick him out, given his place in the band. Either they just keep fighting or they stop touring. No middle ground. If Mick Jagger is finally tired of Keith Richards, then the Rolling Stones should be over. At this point, Mick doesn't get to kick Keith out.
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Old 09-09-2021, 12:52 AM
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Never for a moment do I think that Lindsey did not contribute to the problems with Stevie, but I think no one had the right to kick him out, given his place in the band. Either they just keep fighting or they stop touring. No middle ground. If Mick Jagger is finally tired of Keith Richards, then the Rolling Stones should be over. At this point, Mick doesn't get to kick Keith out.
yeah, her comment thru her publicist about the band having a tradition of people coming and going....Sure, leaving by their own volition. How many of them were fired?? Bob Weston, and for what? Sleeping with Mick's wife. Not sure a smirk is equivalent. (Was Dave Mason fired...??)
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Old 09-09-2021, 01:07 AM
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yeah, her comment thru her publicist about the band having a tradition of people coming and going....Sure, leaving by their own volition. How many of them were fired?? Bob Weston, and for what? Sleeping with Mick's wife. Not sure a smirk is equivalent. (Was Dave Mason fired...??)
Danny Kirwan was fired. Although he deserved it.

I think the Time band(unfortunately) just never got legs. Mick saw a chance to make The Dance happen, and just ended that version of the band. Just like Tom Petty's Crowded House, the Time band was just a substitute filler band(saying that hurts me, because Bekka is the greatest singer FM ever had).
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Old 09-09-2021, 01:17 AM
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Its grim. It seems clear to me that the author of the article kind of thinks Lindsey is a douche. She makes it clear that he says all kinds of unkind stuff and then wonders how he is at the center of so much conflict. And yet he comes off way better than just about anyone else in the article. What a cesspool this band is.
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Old 09-09-2021, 02:04 AM
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"Frankly, my dears, I fired myself!"


Great to have the three main actors of the firing fiasco (Nicks, Azoff and Lindsey) finally speak their truths at each other in public, even if it took three years.

My favorite quote is from Lindsey:
Quote:
“I think she saw the possibility of remaking the band more in the Stevie Nicks vein. More mellow and kind of down, giving her more chances to do the kind of talking she does onstage.”
I see that Joni Mitchell will be the 2022 MusiCares person of the year. Mind you don't fire yourself, Joni!
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Old 09-09-2021, 02:28 AM
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I think Michele’s comment about her not growing up, is spot on.
Everyone else ( in the band) has moved on.
Had spouses, had families and a semblance of a normal life.

But not her.
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Old 09-09-2021, 03:40 AM
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The interviews are a month old and a lot can change in a month in regards to family situations, but I was surprised to read their children have been living with Lindsey. We do know since the time of this interview, Kristen has been with Lindsey at his rehearsals and LeeLee was with Lindsey for opening night, as he proudly wore his wedding ring. All good news for a family working to keep themselves together.

As for the rest of the article - It's pretty dark. Lindsey to me comes off as arrogant and rude in his comments about Stevie's personal life and life choices. The writer for sure frames them in way to create Stevie as a strong willed woman, who should not have any man criticizing her life choices. I expect that Stevie's and Azoff's media machine allies are going to launch further rebuttals at Lindsey, with a combination dredging up past allegations of poor behavior and diminishing his value and importance to the band.

Stevie's statement about Lindsey not being fired due to her wills and wants is some Class A political double speak and is almost laughable in its transparent obfuscation of the actions she took. Lindsey's version of events and actions around his departure has remained remarkably consistent and they have been generally validated from the others in the band or close to the band.

Lindsey could have left the Mick commends out. Their relationship seems genuinely good. Why bring up the divorces and money troubles? It serves no purpose. Easily could have been left at Mick's financial sustainability has always depended upon an active Fleetwood Mac.

Azoff comes off as the detestable, egotistical douche he has always been. Henley and Frey made him a partner in Eagles, LLC, where as the rest of the band post 1975 were employees and ever since that time he has seen himself as more vital than the creative talent for all his entities, as his line about his mistake was allowing Lindsey to remain in Fleetwood Mac for so long. Really, you allowed the creative musical leader of the most successful incarnation of the band to stay in the band? The depth of the rotten ego of delusional self importance.

Last edited by John Run; 09-09-2021 at 04:00 AM..
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